Fight for fairness at St. Catherine and St. Charles

Lawn signs are one of many outlets NYSNA is using to build community awareness and support for the nurses.

Nurses at Catholic Health Service of Long Island’s St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center and St. Charles Hospital are taking their safe staffing and fair contract message directly to Long Island communities. In mid-August, billboards, lawn signs, and television ads featuring nurses from the two hospitals started running.

“What we want more than anything is for our patients to be safe and to get the care they deserve. That’s why we’re taking our message public,” said Antoinette Probish, an RN at St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center.

The media campaign grew out of nurses’ desire to improve staffing to protect patient care at the two hospitals.

Tracy Kosciuk, RN at St. Charles Hospital, added, “Part of an nurse’s job is to educate. We want our patients to know that we want to give them the best possible care but CHS administration is not listening to our concerns on unsafe staffing.”

Raising awareness

“With CHS so focused on patient satisfaction ratings, community opinion is obviously valued. We’re hopeful that the media campaign will raise awareness and help community members ask the right questions if and when they find themselves in the hospital. If CHS hears from the community about the importance of safe staffing, maybe we’ll finally get the change we so desperately need,” said Ms. Kosciuk.

While the community campaign blossoms, nurses continue to fight to protect patient care at the bargaining table and are working toward a fair contract.

“We’re fortunate to be able to speak out on behalf of quality care because we are part of a strong union that supports its members,” Ms. Kosciuk concluded.

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